Talent Overload in Appleton
A Future Forty update is coming tomorrow, as I wanted to confirm all the minor league rosters before putting it out there, but since the Future Forty threads often turn into discussions about a specific player, I wanted to give this its own post.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have more prospects on their roster than any team I can remember in Mariner history. This team is loaded with guys who at least have a shot at a major league future, and basically every exciting young talent in the system has been sent to Appleton.
The rotation contains Tony Butler, Chris Tillman, Nathan Adcock, Anthony Varvaro, and Ricky Orta. Tillman, Butler, Orta, and Adcock were the M’s selections in the second, third, fourth, and fifth rounds respectively last summer, and Anthony Varvaro would have been a second or third round pick in the 2005 draft had he not undergone Tommy John surgery. Orta and Adcock are more fringy prospects at this point, but even they have some potential, and Butler/Tillman/Varvaro is an outstanding trio of arms. Steve Uhlmansiek, another TJ recovery guy, will work out of the bullpen.
On the offensive side, SS Carlos Triunfel will make his professional debut as a 17-year-old in the Midwest League, making him likely to be the youngest player in the league this year. He’ll be joined by Alex Liddi, Kuo-Hui Lo, Greg Halman, Gerardo Avila, and Kalian Sams to form a very talented young line-up. Of that group, only Sams won’t appear on the Future Forty, and all but Sams and Avila are among the organizations best offensive prospects.
Butler, Tillman, Varvaro, Triunfel, Liddi, Halman, and Lo are essentially the cream of the crop in terms of low-level talent in the organization, and they’re all going to be playing together in Wisconsin this year. If you’re anywhere near a Midwest League city, you want to make sure to make it to the ballpark when the T-Rats roll into town. The next wave of talent headed towards Seattle will be on full display.